Latest subcritical nuclear test set for Wednesday

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LAS VEGAS - Scientists plan the latest in a series of experiments Wednesday at the Nevada Test Site to assess the reliability of the nation's nuclear stockpile.

The tests are called subcritical because no nuclear chain reaction actually occurs.

The Department of Energy said the latest experiment will be conducted in an underground tunnel complex on the testing facility, about 85 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

A similar experiment last month resulted in the arrest of nine anti-nuclear activists, who were cited for trespassing in a protest against continued testing.

The government contends the experiments are essential to the nation's program to maintain the safety and reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile in the absence of underground nuclear testing.

There have been no nuclear tests at the site since a moratorium went into effect in 1992.


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